Ralph Lauren: 15 Things You Didn’t Know (Part 1)

Ralph Lauren has become one of the most iconic brands in the fashion industry. However, despite the fact that the brand (and the man behind it) have spent a considerable amount of time in the spotlight and under the scrutiny of the public eye, there are still some things that many people don’t know. With that in mind, here we present our list of 15 things you probably didn’t know about Ralph Lauren. Check out part one below, and stay tuned for part two, coming soon!

Number Fifteen: Ralph Lauren’s Parents Were Jewish Immigrants

Lauren’s parents were actually Ashkenazi Jewish immigrants who eventually came to The Bronx. Their names were Frank Lifschitz and Fraydl Kotlar, and they were originally from Belarus.

Number Fourteen: He’s Not Responsible for the Change in His Last Name

In fact, it was his brother who changed their family’s last name to Lauren. Before he was Ralph Lauren, he was Ralph Lifshitz.

Number Thirteen: He Was in the Army

You might know Lauren best for his polos and other apparel, but what you might not know is that he was in the United States Army! Lauren served in the U.S. Army from 1962 to 1964 after college. He has said that his time in the military influenced his designs.

Number Twelve: His First Fashion Job Was at a Brooks Brothers

With absolutely no experience in the clothing industry, Lauren got a job at Brooks Brothers on Madison Avenue. He was a salesperson there before he began his own clothing design adventure.

Number Eleven: His First Ties Were Made of Rags

Fans of the brand would probably balk at this information now, but when the brand first started out, Lauren made his ties out of old rags. After making them, he sold them in the Empire State Building.

Number Ten: He Didn’t Launch a Women’s Collection Until 1971

Though Lauren is now highly regarded for his lines of women’s clothing, he didn’t actually make any until 1971. The collection was for Polo Ralph Lauren and launched out of Beverly Hills.

Number Nine: He Dressed Jay Gatsby

Lauren dressed Robert Redford when he starred as Jay Gatsby in 1974’s The Great Gatsby. Stay tuned for part two of our list of 15 things you didn’t know about Ralph Lauren, coming soon!